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Public asked for their ideas for the future of much-loved historic castle

PUBLISHED: 09:39 14 September 2018 | UPDATED: 10:16 14 September 2018

Town residents have been invited to have their say on the future of Bungay Castle. Photo: Nick Butcher

Town residents have been invited to have their say on the future of Bungay Castle. Photo: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2011

The public have been encouraged to share their ideas about the future of a much loved historic gem.

View of Bungay Castle from St Mary's chruch tower. Photo: Mike PageView of Bungay Castle from St Mary's chruch tower. Photo: Mike Page

A discussion about the future of Bungay Castle will take place at 7pm on Monday, October 22 at the community centre in Bungay.

As well as discussing the castle, ideas will be heard about the King’s Head Hotel, Oddfellows Hall, Bungay Museum and Jesters Café.

Christopher Reeve, a local historian and expert on all things Bungay, said the consultation would be essential to securing funding from the English Heritage lottery fund.

He said: “There are many possibilities for the future of the castle.

View of Bungay Castle from St Mary's chruch tower. Photo: Mike PageView of Bungay Castle from St Mary's chruch tower. Photo: Mike Page

“At the moment we are only able to run events in the summer months as there is nowhere to shelter if the weather turns bad. Since buying Oddfellows Hall, the large upper room in the building will allow us to put on year round events.”

The castle site has not changed since 1934 but its stony ruins hint at its turbulent past.

Dr Leonard Cane led the 1934 fundraising mission to clear the rubble and overgrowth, allowing the public to visit the historic site for the first time in centuries.

Until then the site had laid in disrepair.

Built in the late 12th centaury, the once magnificent Castle was erected as a display of power by the powerful Earl of Suffolk, Hugh Bigod.

The expensive upkeep meant the castle was left to decay until 1766, when a Bungay builder bought the site and destroyed the stone walls for building materials.

Visitor numbers have remained low in recent years, despite the many theatre and community events hosted at the site.

Mr Reeve said: “Renovating the castle and its surrounding buildings presents a big opportunity for the town to attract tourists and boost the local economy.

“The steering group have their own ideas but its important people attend the event so we know what the town wants.”

People unable to attend the consultation evening can view a display about the project and submit their views on a response form at the Community Centre from October 22 to November 11, or at Bungay Library from November 12 to December 2.

For more information contact Olly Barnes on 07986 209 874.

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